The ‘noise’ generated by today’s IT is more damaging than you think. I’m not talking datacentre racks, fans and cooling here, I’m talking about the sheer amount of data that software and management systems throw at you these days, and importantly the actions that are driven by that information. The pandemic hasn’t helped either, with many legal firms having to quickly shift to cloud technologies such as Office 365, plus the challenges of remote working. One critical area where noise can be distracting is ensuring your business is ‘recovery ready’ – important due to the clear and present threats posed by malware, good old-fashioned system failures, domino effects and natural disasters. This applies just as much to Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) and remote workers laptops too.
This was brought into sharp relief by a recent article that quoted figures from an IDC survey which said that more than 90 percent of organisations have experienced some type of significant tech disruption in the last two years. Scarier still, 20% of those surveyed said a tech-related business disruption caused significant damage to their company’s reputation and a permanent loss of customers.
So, what is the noise that’s causing the problem? For many organisations, it’s the old favourites: troubleshooting, performance monitoring and tweaking, report generation and servicing demands that quite frankly, should be self-service. It doesn’t sound overly menacing does it? While this is happening though, your modernisation is slowing, recovery SLAs are slipping away from you and Disaster Recovery (DR) plans aren’t being updated, tested or improved. Complexity is your enemy here too, because it amplifies the potential for noise.
It’s clear then, that we all need to be reminded occasionally about the importance of time management, and the internet is full of wisdom on this topic. Personally, I like the ‘stones and sand in a jar’ analogy* as it does a really good job of reminding you where your focus should be. The story has a jar, which when filled with sand, no longer has the space for the big, important stuff, represented by larger stones. If you put the stones in first, you have room for some pebbles (still important but less critical stuff) and the sand (noise) then fills the gaps.
The good news is that help is here, in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has the power to take away the need to spend large amounts of time on those grains of sand by automatically taking care of them. What’s really cool is that the AI learns about everything you protect, and you can teach it about your ‘pebbles’ and ‘stones’. This means you can prioritise recovery SLAs for important stuff, like your legal-specific document management system, and know that you’ll always be able to recover it to meet business SLAs. The really great news is that AI has already been applied to recovery readiness and DR by Commvault.
Imagine AI’s impact for recoverability and DR in your organisation:
- AI smarts set against your SLA needs provide traffic-light reports and alerts, based on intelligence from backup user data gathered from across the globe
- If the traffic-light report isn’t all green, AI can rejig backup schedules, collection methods and configs to reset the report to green to meet your recovery/DR needs
- When this can’t be done because infrastructure is the issue, AI will flag it
- AI based anomaly detection reports a large number of files being changed because it was out of the ordinary based on normal activity (laptops or servers – doesn’t matter)
- Retention schedules for backups are lengthened automatically until investigated, just in case the file changes are related to ransomware or malware
When you add AI to simple, role-based self-service for key IT roles and even your IT consumers, together with powerful automation, your business is in a much better position to deal with the noise that’s hurting your ability to recover from an outage or disaster. And with IDC putting the chances of some sort of tech disruption at 90% over two years, that’s got to be a good thing.
All this is not just for the datacentre, either. You can keep your partners and legal team’s data safe (and secure) in this way no matter whether it resides in Microsoft 365, or on a business laptop that’s being used at home. The same for remote desktop systems too.
If you’d like to become ‘recovery ready’ and modernise the backup DR systems for your legal practice, either in your own datacentre or by leveraging the cloud, talk to us at PAV IT today.
*There are lots of ‘time management stones and sand in a jar’ videos available – just search that term and pick your favourite. Just don’t waste too much time on it!
by Nigel Tozer, Commvault
Nigel Tozer is a keen technologist and is a subject matter expert on data best practice and data protection for Commvault. He has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry, with the majority of it in data management and cloud, and in recent years has become an ardent advocate of sustainability in business. Nigel is a qualified GDPR Practitioner, which combined with his other data skills has enabled him to work as an advisor to CIO’s, Chief Data Officers and other C level roles. He is an official spokesperson for Commvault and regularly appears in the media, and as a speaker at events and webinars.
Over the coming months, we will be releasing tailored resources helping legal firms address the following key questions:
• What can be done to help your practice deal with the inevitability of being hit by a cyber-attack and the associated data loss?
• How can your practice continue being productive even when your staff are working remotely for large periods of time?
• Are you still responsible for the well-being of your staff if they are working remotely (mostly by their own choice)?
• How can high levels of organisational collaboration be maintained in an online / digital world?
Signup for exclusive access and to find out more about our event coming soon CLICK HERE
“Having worked with PAV i.t Services as a trusted advisor for our IT requirements for many years, we had a high level of confidence in their experience and expertise to propose a managed cloud backup and DR solution which matched our business requirements, giving us a scalable and cost effective solution which provided us with the assurance our data is both fully protected and available.”